Former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook has told William Hill’s Simon Jordan, that he doubted himself for the first time in his career in the lead up to his fight with middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin.

Brook recounted the first two losses of his career to Golovkin and Errol Spence Jnr. and the impact they both had on him as a boxer and a man.

“That was the first time that someone got in my head before a fight,” said Brook. “I remember being in the hotel room thinking, ‘I’m fighting Golovkin…tonight.’

“I honestly started to doubt myself, I remember me and my nutritionist were in a hotel room at the time and I didn’t say I’d lose, but I said to him, ‘I can win this fight, can’t I?’. That was me straight away saying it out loud and it was negative, I was doubting myself.

“In the weeks leading up to the fight, all I’d seen were videos of Golovkin knocking everyone out, and they were all middleweights. It then dawned on me that I was fighting him in a few hours.

“A lot of it is in the mind – it’s the law of attraction – if you really believe something like I’m going to win the title with everything I’ve got, you can go out and do it – and I did. But for the first time [in my career], I was negative and subsequently was handed my first defeat.”

Brook then candidly spoke about the impact fight had on him, stepping into the ring with a man that other middleweights were too scared to fight let alone welterweights going up in weight, and the physical and mental damage that ensued following the bout.

Brook said: “Looking back at it, Gennady Golovkin was an absolute monster, he was someone who was unbeaten and believed he could beat any man – even at middleweight. I always thought that I could box him and keep out of the way, and that I was better, but as we know, it didn’t go down like that. It damaged me and it changed me.

“When he broke my eye, the surgeon said to me that one more big shot and I could’ve been blind and could’ve lost my eye, and that hit home big time. Those same feelings resurfaced when I boxed Errol Spence Jnr.

“I knew something terrible had happened with Golovkin, it was like a crab claw being crushed, I could hear it and I could feel it. The adrenaline was rushing but I knew something wasn’t right.

“It wasn’t so much the pain, but it was what it did to my vision, it was frightening. It’s always frightening when you’ve got someone with that power against a wounded animal. It was scary.”

Following his fight with Golovkin, Brook had to drop weight in order to fight Spence Jnr. and he deemed his failure to perform the second time a significantly bigger dent to his confidence in comparison to his first loss.

“Losing had a big impact the first time, but the second loss was the biggest one for me,” said Brook. “I think because Golovkin was a unified middleweight beast that other middleweights weren’t even fighting, it wasn’t as bad. I still lost though and was absolutely devastated, but what really destroyed me was losing to Errol Spence Jnr.

“If I hadn’t lost to Golovkin I think I would have had a 100 percent better chance of beating Spence. On top of losing, I had the added pressure to make middleweight. After that fight I was a middleweight, and I had my eye broken.

“Eddie Hearn offered me the option of giving up my title because at the time I had to make the weight in a short period – to which I said, ‘absolutely not, I’ve earnt this title and you’ve got to kill me to take it!’

“The training camp for the Spence Jnr. fight was terrible, I was carrying all of this extra weight. I wanted to be completely and utterly focused, but I was having problems with my trainer who was dealing with things at home. Everything was wrong going into that fight.

“I got to the fight and my family were telling me I needed to pull out, but we’d sold all the tickets and I’d done my training. In my own mind I was thinking, ‘I’m going to make this weight, I’ve got a fight and I’m a fighter’. Looking back, it was one fight I wish I had pulled out of.

“I had to question myself after that fight, asking myself am I really good enough. I started thinking about retirement, I hit a really low point in my life and in my career. I was around 30 and I just thought, losing in my weight category against Spence was a tough pill to swallow especially when I believed in myself and I was a world champion – it was my lowest point.”